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Eric: Recording Technique?


bahoodore

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Eric,

About 8 years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Wilson. I also spent about 30 minutes talking to his then-producer Joe Thomas. Joe told me that Brian records on guitar or piano guide track, then sings ALL vocal tracks....layer upon layer....THEN goes on to recording all the instruments.

I wonder if you have a certain technique, or is it dictated by the nature of the song. I would find it hard to emotionally get the lead vocal track across (on a driving rock tune) without haveng drums and bass boosting the "Oomph" factor in the vocal track preformances.

Also, how, if you were not the producer, did you not let the frustration leak into a vocal performance when a bad techinique decision was taken during one of your recording sessions? I would have to say, that your vocal performances (on hit songs or not) have always been stellar compared to many other artists.

Bahoo

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No matter what, I always sing my heart out when I'm doing a lead vocal. It's unfortunate that the circumstances surrounding the performance have so often been less than optimal. Having said that, I find that on ballads and mid-tempo tunes, it is often hard to beat the demo. I think that's because there's a special magic when you've just written something and it hasn't been "beaten to death" in the recording studio. On the Geffen album, "I'm Through With Love", "The Way We Used To Be" and "She Remembered" were ALL my one take piano voice demos. We just overdubbed the rest of what was on them. That's because, when I listened to the vocal on "The Way We Used To Be" for instance, I knew I could sing 40 more performances of that tune and never get one that was better than the original demo performance. Different perhaps, but not better.

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On the rock tracks, I really need to hear the band, especially the drummer. I really key on drums for some reason for inspiration. When I first realized that piano was not a viable instrument for a rock band back in '66 ( there weren't any portable ones yet), the instrument I chose to learn how to play was drums. I took a couple of drum lessons and my parents thought my drum pad was too loud, so I figured the chances of me ever getting a drum kit were slim to none. That left guitar and sax, and I chose guitar, but I've always had special relationships with my drummers. Mike McBride was my roommate in Cyrus Erie, Jim Bonfanti was always a pal in the Raspberries. Jeff Porcaro was my "go-to" guy in my solo career. I only wish I had had more opportunities to work with him. But I've always loved drummers, from Ringo to Keith Moon to B..J. Wilson in Procol Harum and Geoff Swettenham in Grapefruit. Great drummers knock me out.

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Donny Krueger is my drumming mentor!!! I try my hardest to "be like Don" when I'm playing drums. Don just has this "pocket" that's so awesome. I love Jim's drumming as well. Cleveland and Yougstown has it's share of great drummers, Jim Bonfanti, Tommy Rich, Eric Singer, Jimmy Clark, Michael Cartoloni, Jimmy Fox, Kevin Hupp, Jeff West, Don Krueger, John Sferra, Kevin Valentine.

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When we recorded at Fireside Studios in Nashville, I saw that all the drummers who had recorded there autographed the wall of the recording studio for Porter. It was really cool that drummers like Carmine and Russ Kunkel's names were there. Russ was the drummer I'd always heard the most about. I learned about the others later. I loved Fireside--and Porter's hospitality was legendary. I never got to see Russ record live there but I did see that he had been there!

:) --Darlene

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute.

Uhhh. OK I know I'm probably being set up for a leg-pulling hoax here but is that THE Eric Carmen on this board? Mentioning the band "Grapefruit"?

I'm in heaven! :lol:

(Before you all break out in a chorus of "sucker" allow me a few minutes of delusion, thanks.)

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Marc,

I've gotta admit I don't know Grapefruit very well but your reference --- and Eric's, too --- has me snooping around a little. I was trying to find some rare video on YouTube, but no luck. I'll dig around for a CD, and will take any recommendations you (or other fans) might have....

Welcome to the board.... Have fun!

--Larry

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